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This Week at Interior March 7, 2014


March 7, 2014


new report shows the powerful impact that national parks have on local and national economies; NPS projects a peak bloom date for Washington DC's world-famous cherry blossoms; Interior has a new Deputy Secretary; the President releases his FY 2015 budget request for Interior; and Secretary Jewell touts public-private partnerships during a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 


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This is Deputy Secretary Mike Connor...you’re watching This Week at Interior.

 

THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR…

 

A NEW REPORT OUT THIS WEEK SHOWS THE POWERFUL IMPACT THAT NATIONAL PARKS HAVE ON THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL ECONOMIES… THE REPORT SHOWS PARKS GENERATED 26-POINT-75 BILLION DOLLARS IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN 2012, AND SUPPORTED NEARLY A QUARTER MILLION JOBS. NATIONAL PARKS WELCOMED MORE THAN 280-MILLION VISITORS, A FOUR MILLION VISITOR INCREASE OVER THE PREVIOUS  YEAR… THOSE VISITORS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF LOCAL HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, OUTDOOR OUTFITTERS AND OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES.

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK… A STUDY OF THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF THE 16-DAY GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IN OCTOBER… THE STUDY SHOWS SEVEN-POINT-EIGHT MILLION *FEWER* VISITORS TO NATIONAL PARKS IN OCTOBER DUE TO THE SHUTDOWN, COSTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES SOME 414-MILLION DOLLARS IN VISITOR SPENDING YOU CAN FIND BOTH REPORTS AT NPS.GOV.

 

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF WASHINGTON DC’S FAMOUS CHERRY BLOSSOMS WILL BE *SLIGHTLY* DELAYED THIS YEAR…  THE LONG, COLD WINTER IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL HAS PUSHED BACK THE CITY’S SIGNATURE SYMBOL OF SPRING… WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE NOW PREDICTING THE BLOSSOMS WILL HIT THEIR PEAK BLOOM BETWEEN APRIL 8TH AND APRIL 12TH. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VISITORS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD FLOCK TO WASHINGTON D-C EVERY YEAR TO TAKE IN THOSE CHERRY BLOSSOMS, SPELLING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY.

 

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR HAS A NEW DEPUTY SECRETARY… MICHAEL CONNOR WAS SWORN IN THIS WEEK IN A SPECIAL CEREMONY IN THE SECRETARY’S OFFICE. CONNOR HAD BEEN  COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION SINCE 2009, BEFORE BEING CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE LAST WEEK. SECRETARY JEWELL SAYS CONNOR’S WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE WILL BE A GREAT BENEFIT TO HER, AND THE REST OF INTERIOR.

 

ELEVEN POINT NINE BILLION DOLLARS… THAT’S WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA REQUESTED THIS WEEK FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IN HIS PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2015 BUDGET. SECRETARY JEWELL CALLS THE BUDGET REQUEST BALANCED AND RESPONSIBLE, AND SAYS IT MAKES KEY INVESTMENTS TO MAINTAIN INTERIOR’S MULTI-FACETED MISSION… LANDSCAPE LEVEL CONSERVATION, BALANCED ENERGY DEVELOPMENT, WATER MANAGEMENT, ENGAGING YOUTH AND VETERANS, ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE, AND FULFILLING COMMITMENTS TO AMERICAN INDIANS, ALASKA NATIVE TRIBES AND INSULAR COMMUNITIES.

 

This is a strong, solid budget. It helps provide certainty and predictability to not only the employees of Interior but our partners out there that rely on us, and I’m really proud of the President stepping up and supporting us this way.

 

YOU CAN SEE A DETAILED BREAKDOWN OF THE 2015 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET REQUEST FOR INTERIOR AT DOI.GOV.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL TOUTING THE BENEFITS OF PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS ON A VISIT

EARLY THIS WEEK TO OUR NATION’S MOST VISITED NATIONAL PARK… THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK. SHE JOINED TENNESSEE SENATOR LAMAR ALEXANDER, LOCAL LEADERS AND STAKEHOLDERS TO ANNOUNCE CONSTRUCTION PLANS FOR A JOINT CURATORIAL COLLECTIONS FACILITY... THAT FACILITY WILL HOUSE MORE THAN 800-THOUSAND HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS AND ARCHIVAL RECORDS OF THE FAMILIES THAT ONCE OWNED THE LAND THAT NOW MAKES UP PARTS OF THE PARK. SECRETARY JEWELL ANNOUNCED THAT THE FACILITY is EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETE IN THE FALL OF 2015.

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.